Aug. 12th, 2014

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Hesperornis regalis was but one of many species in its genus, many of which lived in the Western Interior Seaway of Cretaceous North America. This toothed early bird was similar in many ways to today's grebes, loons, and penguins. It possessed short flipper-like wings that would have been somewhat useful for steering underwater, but certainly not for flight. Its legs were fixed at the ankle to the side of the body, and couldn't have been used for walking. On land, it would have had to push itself around with its toes and scoot on its belly, much like a seal - but underwater, those broad lobed feet were perfect for propelling itself swiftly after fish and other marine life.

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Lauren Helton

September 2014

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